4.19.2007

Chodesh tov!!חדש טוב

Today is the first day of the Hebrew month of Iyar (אִייָר), and the second day of Rosh Chodesh. Yesterday I was preoccupied with death and taxes. Today, we turn to (at least some) happier things.

Etymology

  • From Akkadian aaru, possibly meaning "rosette" or "blossom"
Biblical names
  • "the second month"
  • Called "Ziv" in I Kings 6:1
    א ויהי בשמונים שנה וארבע מאות שנה לצאת בני-ישראל מארץ-מצרים בשנה הרביעית בחדש זִו, הוא החדש השני, למלך שלמה, על-ישראל; ויבן הבית, לה. 1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.
Holidays
  • 5th of Iyar: Israel Independence Day, the anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel in 1948
  • 18th of Iyar: Lag B'Omer, the 33rd day of the Omer, traditionally considered a festive day, because on that day a plague that killed 24,000 of Rabbi Akiva's students ceased. The Talmud says that the plague occurred because they did not show proper respect to one another. (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Yevamot 62b)
    אמרו שנים עשר אלף זוגים תלמידים היו לו לרבי עקיבא מגבת עד אנטיפרס וכולן מתו בפרק אחד מפני שלא נהגו כבוד זה לזה
    :מסכת יבמות, דף סב--
What happened in Iyar? (More events here.)
  • The month during which the omer is counted from the second day of Passover until Shavuot.
  • 1st of Iyar: Moses conducted the census in the wilderness, Numbers 1:1-3:
    א וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה בְּמִדְבַּר סִינַי, בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד: בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי בַּשָּׁנָה הַשֵּׁנִית, לְצֵאתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם--לֵאמֹר. 1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying:
    ב שְׂאוּ, אֶת-רֹאשׁ כָּל-עֲדַת בְּנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם, לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם--בְּמִסְפַּר שֵׁמוֹת, כָּל-זָכָר לְגֻלְגְּלֹתָם. 2 'Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, by their fathers' houses, according to the number of names, every male, by their polls;
    ג מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה, כָּל-יֹצֵא צָבָא בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל--תִּפְקְדוּ אֹתָם לְצִבְאֹתָם, אַתָּה וְאַהֲרֹן. 3 from twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: ye shall number them by their hosts, even thou and Aaron
  • 2nd of Iyar: completion of the building of the Second Temple by Solomon in Jerusalem (11 Chronicles 3:2) [This is where I stopped having time to put sources in. If I have time later I'll go back and finish this.]
  • 7th of Iyar: Hasmoneans dedicated the walls of Jerusalem after the repair of the breaches caused by the Greeks (Megillah Ta'anit 2)
  • 10th of Iyar: anniversary of the death of the High Priest Eli and his sons, capture of the Ark by the Phillistines; once observed as a fast
  • 14th of Iyar: "Little Passover" (Pesach Sheini) observed by those who could not get the Temple in time to offer the Pascal sacrifice on Passover
  • 23rd of Iyar: Hasmoneans kick the Hellenists from Jerusalem's Acra (fortified area) in 141 BCE (I Macc. 13:51-52; Megillah Ta'anit 2)
  • 28th of Iyar: anniversary of the death of the prophet Samuel, once observed as a fast (Megillah Ta'anit 13)
According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the following correspond to the month of Iyar:
  • Letter: vav (ו)
  • Zodiac sign: ox
  • Tribe: Isaachar (יִשָשׁכָר)
  • Sense: Thought. Thought here implies contemplation and introspection. It also signifies the power of calculation (as in the calculation of the calender). This is the month of counting ("sefirat haomer") from Passover to Shavuot.
  • Controlling organ/limb: right kidney

2 comments:

Alex said...

Hi

Please consider writing news pieces or an op-ed for Jewrusalem: Israeli Uncensored News. We strive to present different views and opinions while rejecting political correctness. Ideally, we try to make the news "smart and funny." Thus, your input is very welcome.

Best,
Alex
www.jewrusalem.net/en

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

i always assumed that אייר was a cognate of אור, i.e. זיו. damn those tricky Akkadians!